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How to Build a Shed

Joseph TruiniWritten by

Joseph Truini

This guide will teach you how to build a cheap storage shed, but before you start, make sure you read our cost to build a shed article. The steps below can easily be modified and applied to any storage shed build. For more designs and sizes, please check our free shed plans section.

Please check your local building codes and obtain shed permits before starting any building project. Let’s begin!

Material list

It’s important to make sure you have the proper materials before starting any building project. If you’re planning to build a storage shed, you will need all of the following. Please note that the measurements for the pieces are indicated, which will save you a lot of time later on.

Materials Unit Qty Size Note
Pressure-Treated Lumber 1″x2″ pcs 3 10′ Starter course
Pressure-Treated Lumber 1″x2″ pcs 24 6′ Starter course, Girts, Jalousies
Pressure-Treated Lumber 1″x2″ pcs 2 8′ Girts
Pressure-Treated Lumber 1″x3″ pcs 5 6′ Trim
Pressure-Treated Lumber 1″x3″ pcs 5 10′ Trim
Pressure-Treated Lumber 1″x3″ pcs 2 8′ Girts
Pressure-Treated Lumber 1″x4″ pcs 4 8′ Trim
Pressure-Treated Lumber 1″x4″ pcs 2 10′ Trim
Pressure-Treated Lumber 1″x4″ pcs 4 6′ Trim
Pressure-Treated Board 1″x6″ pcs 2 10′ Fascia
Pressure-Treated Board 1″x8″ pcs 1 10′ Ridge board
Pressure-Treated Lumber 2″x2″ pcs 4 6′ Girts
Pressure-Treated Lumber 2″x2″ pcs 3 8′ Girts
Pressure-Treated Lumber 2″x2″ pcs 2 12′ Girts
Pressure-Treated Lumber 2″x3″ pcs 4 10′ Gable wall Stud
Pressure-Treated Lumber 2″x3″ pcs 7 8′ Gable wall Stud, Trim, Girts
Pressure-Treated Lumber 2″x3″ pcs 5 6′ Gable wall Stud, Girts
Pressure-Treated Lumber 2″x4″ pcs 3 12′ Cripple studs
Pressure-Treated Lumber 2″x4″ pcs 26 6′ Door Header, Bottom plates, Cripple stud, Studs, Window header, Rough sill, Collar tie, Girts
Pressure-Treated Lumber 2″x4″ pcs 22 8′ Studs, Top plate
Pressure-Treated Lumber 2″x4″ pcs 9 10′ Top plate, Bottom plate
Pressure-Treated Lumber 2″x6″ pcs 4 6′ Rafters bay
Pressure-Treated Lumber 2″x6″ pcs 18 8′ Rafters
Pressure-Treated Lumber 2″x8″ pcs 10 10′ Joists, Rim joists
Pressure-Treated Lumber 4″x4″ pcs 4 8′ Studs
Plywood (9/16″) pcs 28 4′x8′ Sheathing
Poured concrete lbs 4 60
Concrete Brick Pavers pcs 140 3 5/8″ x 2 1/4″ x 8″
Building paper (#15) roll 4
Asphalt shingles (250# per sq. min) ft2 150
Metal drip edge ft 20
Wood siding boards (1/2″ x 6″) ft2 85 9′-5″ Siding
Wood siding boards (1/2″ x 6″) ft2 135 9′-6 1/2″ Siding
Wood siding boards (1/2″ x 6″) ft2 13 2′-2 3/4″ Siding
Window beading ft 8
Glass (1/8″) pcs 1 2′-10 1/4″ x 2′-10 1/4″
Wall fastener (3″) pcs 4
Door hinge (3″) pcs 18
Door pull (6″) pcs 2
Surface bolt (4″) pcs 4
Window lock pcs 2
Wood square louver gable vent (12″ x 12″) pcs 2
Galvanized nails (1/2″) pcs 100
Galvanized nails (2″) pcs 2000
Wood screws (2″) pcs 1750
Wood screws (3″) pcs 1200
Wood screws (5″) pcs 500

Total build time: 4 days

More shed plans with different sizes and design

Step 1: Build shed’s foundation

build a shed foundation
Add a single layer of bricks on the top of the concrete

There are several types of shed foundations that you can choose from, and it really depends on what space you need. We highly recommend building a concrete and brick foundation for your shed because of its stability:

  • Dig the footing trenches at least 1’ wide and 1’ deep.
  • Fill the trenches to ground level with concrete and allow some time for the concrete to harden.
  • Once the concrete has hardened, spread mortar and add your bricks.
  • Add a single layer of bricks on the top and continue to put mortar between them. Around 135 bricks should complete your foundation.
  • Make sure you have a foundation that measures 10’-7 ½” on each side.

Step 2: Assemble the floor frame

shed floor framing
Lay the joists every 11″

Your shed’s floor will be made from rim and band joists. This will help to hold everything together.

  • Mark the 9’-10 ½” joists every 11 inches so that the floor’s plywood sheets will line up to the middle of the joists. 
  • Secure the joists with 8×5″ Phillips wood screws.
  • Use a square to measure if corners are 90 degrees

Once you have the frame constructed, you can install it on the foundation.

Step 3: Add floor sheeting

shed floor sheeting with plywood
Cover the floor with plywood

Once your joist box is installed, it’s time to install the plywood for your shed’s floor. Before you install it, make sure the plywood’s wood grain runs perpendicular to the joists. This will maximize the floor’s strength.

  • By using 4″x8″ plywood sheets, cover your shed’s floor. Some of the sheets will need to be cut according to the diagram above to fit properly.
  • Fit the first sheet of plywood into a corner and make everything line up precisely.
  • Use 2-inch Phillips flat head wood screws to secure the plywood to the frame.
  • Add more rows of plywood to the frame, but offset them to keep the seams from lining up along the same joist each time.

You might also want to consider applying construction adhesive before you start securing the plywood. This can help to reduce any creaking in the future.

Step 4: Frame the walls

framing shed wall
Connect the 2x4s using two screws

Shed wall framing is very similar to floor framing. But instead of common joists and rim joists, walls have studs and top and bottom plates. You will have four top plates and four bottom plates. Half of them will be 10’ long, and the other half will be 9’-5”. Each plate should be 3 ½” wide.

  • Lay out the wall studs the same way you did when you framed the floor.
  • Use Phillips flat head wood screws to frame the walls. The 2x4s should be connected using two screws at each intersection

Of course, your shed’s walls will not all be the same. Some of them may have windows or doors, so you’ll want to follow your shed plan carefully to make sure you use the right materials with the correct measurements. The height of the shed will be 6’-11”, but depending on your design, you will also be using shorter boards for framing windows and doors in the walls.

Step 5: Assemble the roof frame

frame the shed roof
Use 2x4s or 2x6s to build your rafters

A shed roof is an important part when learning how to build a shed.

  • Assemble the top beams for your shed using 10’ pressure-treated lumber. The size of your boards will vary based on the size of the shed you’re building.
  • Once you have the beams, connect them with flat head Phillips wood screws. 
  • Use either 2×4 or 2×6 to build your rafters, and your choice may depend on the snow load you expect each year.
  • Cut the rafters, collar ties, and ridge board according to the directions. You will need 18 rafters that measure 6’-11” long. They should be spaced 1’-1 ¼” apart, just like in the above diagram.

Once you get the roof frame assembled and installed, you may want to go back and add hurricane ties, which can offer more security.

Step 6: Attach exterior siding to the side walls

shed wall siding
Installing the exterior wall siding

Now it’s time to add siding to your shed. T1-11 is extremely functional, and it’s also cheap, which makes it a popular option for sheds. 

  • Use 1×3 pressure-treated lumber to cut and install the wall trims. You will need two boards cut to 5′-10 3/4″, two boards cut to 8′- 1/2″, and one cut to 10′.
  • Prepare and install starter course 9′-5″ long from the pressure-treated lumber with cross-section 1/4″ x 3/4″.
  • Install the exterior siding using 1/2 “ x 6” siding boards as illustrated below.
  • Use 2×3 pressure-treated lumber for the window trim. You will need two boards cut to 3′-9″ and two boards cut to 3′-4″.

Be sure to provide openings for windows and ventilation, as shown in the drawing.

Step 7: Cover your roof frame with plywood

shed roof sheating
Attach plywood to the roof

This step is relatively easy. You will need ladders, plywood, a hammer, and some wood screws.

  • Cut sheets of 9/16” plywood for the roof sheathing. You will need four 4′ x 6′-11″ sheets and two 2′-5 3/4″ x 6′-11″ sheets.
  • Secure the plywood with 2″ flat head wood Phillips screws.

Take all safety precautions while working with the roof.

Step 8: Install asphalt shingles on the shed roof

shed roof assembly with asphalt shingles
Install your shingles according to the instructions

Asphalt roof shingles are a great option for your shed’s roof. It’s not expensive, and it’s also easy to install. For this step, you will need 150 Sq Ft of asphalt shingle roofing.

  • Install the drip cap along the end edges of the roof using aluminum roofing nails. If your shed has a lean-to roof, start at the bottom and work your way up. 
  • Staple roofing paper onto the plywood on the roof. This will help to prevent excessive moisture from ruining the wood and keep it from rotting. Adding parallel lines to the roofing paper can help you keep your shingles straight. 
  • Install your shingles according to the instructions on the packaging. Make sure you stagger the rows to keep water from penetrating the shingles over time.

Your roof should measure 6’-11 ½” x 10’-5 ¾” on each side when you are finished.

Step 9: Assemble the windows

assemble shed window

You can install your windows directly to the wall framing or on top of the siding. You will need to add the trim in either case. 

  • Assemble the outer frame for the window by using 2×3 pressure-treated lumber. You will need two boards cut to 3′-1″ that will be the vertical pieces, and two boards cut to 3′-4″ that will be the horizontal pieces. Additionally, add vertical 2′-11 1/2″ long and horizontal 3′-1″ long supports using 3/4“ x 1“ lumber and cut out the recesses for the window hinges.
  • Use 2×2 pressure-treated material to make the inner frame and secure with 3” flat head wood screws. You will need two boards cut to 2′-9 3/4″ that will be the vertical lengths and two boards cut to 3′-3/4″ that will be the horizontal lengths. Mill a recess for the glass panes and the hinges.
  • Use 2×2 pressure-treated material to make the inner frame supports and secure with 3” flat head wood screws. You will need two boards cut to 2′-9 3/4″ and mill a recess for interconnection.
  • Prepare and install glass into the inner frame groove and fasten it by window beading on all four sides. Use 1/2″ galvanized nails.
  • Install two hinges (3″) with 6x 1″ wood screws and assemble the window.

This is usually a pretty quick and easy process. Once you have it built, you will line up the door’s opening with the trim and hang the door on three heavy-duty hinges. Your door should have a handle and a lock installed on the opposite side.

Step 10: Build the doors

door assembly
Assemble the doors according to illustration

Door assembly might take some time, but it’s cheaper than buying a premade at the hardware store.

  • Build the door frames for the shed using 2×4 pressure-treated lumber and secure with 5” wood screws. You will need two boards cut to 5′-11 3/4″ that will be the vertical pieces and two boards cut to 2′-3/4″ that will be the horizontal trim pieces.
  • Prepare the 9/16″ plywood sheet with dimensions 2′-7 3/4″ x 5′-11 3/4″ for the doors.
  • Use 1×3 pressure-treated lumber for the door trim and fasten with 2” wood screws. You will need 2 pcs cut to 2′-2 3/4″ and 2 pcs to 5′-11 3/4″.
  • Using 1/4 “ x 3/4 “ pressure-treated lumber, cut and install the first courser 2′-2 3/4″ long.
  • For the exterior siding on the door, use 1/2 “ x 6” wood siding boards and the drawing below as a guide.
  • Assemble siding shields with 2″ galvanized nails.

Step 11: Install a ventilation system

install shed roof ventilation
Install the shed’s ventilation

Your shed should have a proper ventilation system to keep it cool and dry.

  • Install your louver gable vent in the proper opening, which should measure 1’-4”. Use flat head wood screws to secure it in place.

Step 12: Assemble and install window shutters (optional)

install shed window shutters
Window shutters installation instructions

Window shutters are a great addition to any storage shed. You can buy window shutters, or you might want to consider making your own. 

  • Assemble frames using 1×2 pressure-treated lumber and secure with 3” wood screws. You will need one board cut to 1′-4 3/4″ and two boards cut to 3′-3/4″ that will be the vertical and two boards cut to 1′-7 3/4″ that will be the horizontal pieces.
  • Mill a recess along the vertical girts for the jalousies.
  • Use 1×2 pressure-treated lumber for the jalousies. You will need twenty-two boards cut to 1′-5 3/4″.
  • Install two 3″ door hinges using 6×1″ wood screws (see section N in the above illustration).

Finally, don’t forget to install two 3-inch door hinges on either side of the window using wood screws and hang your window shutters.

Step 13: Assemble and install the roof drainage system (optional)

components of a guttering system for shed
Assembly of the roof drainage system

Assemble roof drainage system on the front fascia board.

  • You will need a 5″ gutter 8′ long, two end pieces with the outlet, six 45° elbows, two 3″ pipes 6′ long, two joint connectors, and two end caps.
  • Fasten the gutter to the fascia with the round brackets.
  • Fasten the vertical pipe section with the 4 wall fasteners.

shed roof drainage system

Step 14: Assemble and install door ramp (optional)

shed ramp assembly
Shed ramp assembly diagram
  • Assemble the 5 door ramp frames from pressure-treated lumber and secure them with 3 and 5” wood screws. For each frame, you will need one 2×2 board cut to 1′-8″, one 2×3 board cut to 3′-3/4″, and one 2×4 board cut to 6 1/4″.
  • Connect and secure all frames using one 2×3 board 5′-9″ long and 3” wood screws.
  • Cut the 9/16″ plywood sheet with dimensions 3′-3/4″ x 5′-9″ for the top plate and two sheets cut to 9 1/4″ x 2′-9 1/2″ for the sides.
  • Assemble siding shields with 2″ galvanized nails.

build a shed ramp

Enjoy your new storage shed

Once you’ve cut the last board and screwed in the final screw, all that’s left to do is to stand back and admire your handiwork. You did it! You learned how to build a shed, and you implemented that knowledge into building your very own. You’ll love the versatility and function that it brings to your backyard, as well as to your home in general. 

10x10 storage shed

You should be proud of the finished product. We’d love to hear how it turned out!

Joseph TruiniJoseph Truini is a host on the Today’s Homeowner TV show and co-hosts the weekly Today’s Homeowner Radio Show. He has written three best-selling shed-building books and lives in Roxbury, Connecticut.